tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 4, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
good evening, everyone. sit 10:00 on the east coast of the united states. 5:00 a.m. here in kiev, a day of extraordinary developments, military developments on the ground in crimea, involving russian forces and ukrainian forces and extraordinary diplomatic efforts on the ground in kiev. a lot to get to. first i want to set the scene. we're on the outskirts on one of the main roads leading into
independence square here in kiev. this is really the first roadblock in order to get into the square. all the road blocks leading into the square from every direction, all the roadblocks which were put into place to stop riot police from charging down and attacking protesters, they are still in place. the protesters who were still here, and you can see a number of men huddled around a fire trying to stay warm at this early hour of the morning on wednesday morning, they are all still here, because they say they will remain here until the new government that's in place here in kiev lives up to the promises that they have made. this area is also a shrine where hundreds, if not thousands of people come every day to pay their respects to those who lost their lives here. they lay thousands of flowers. they light candles against the darkness of the night. you can also see the shields, riot police shields assigned to the battles that took place here. people have placed rosaries around them. look at this barricade, one of just several to get into
independence square. a makeshift barricade. we'll show your more later on in the program. but a day of extraordinary moments, unarmed ukrainian troops walking up and confronting russian forces who fired into the air. russia's president vladamir putin speaking out making surprising claims. president obama as well on the diplomatic front. senator john king visiting here in kiev. take a look. [ gunfire ] >> a tense standoff between russian and ukrainian forces in crimea. the base has been surrounded by russian troops for the past few days. ukrainian commander walks unarmed towards the russians. two rifles pointed right at him. he's backed up by 300 of his own troops who are also unarmed.
the exchange ends with words, not bullets. but it's an example of the tension in the region. russian forces have surrounded ten ukrainian military bases and later in the day warships from both ukraine and russia were headed toward crimea and as military tension increased so too did the rhetoric between the united states and russia. here in kiev, secretary of state kerry toured independence square, the site of so much bloodshed just last month and paid his respects at shrine for those killed in the protests. after meeting with ukraine's new leaders he turned to russia. >> it is clear that russia has been working hard to create a pretext for being able to invade further. russia's talked about russian speaking minority citizens under siege. they're not. >> while the u.s. is preparing
economic and diplomatic sanctions, kerry made clear a military option is not on the table. >> president obama and i want to make it clear to russia and to everybody in the world that we are not seeking confrontation. >> vladimir putin, who's been largely silent since troops began taking over crimea denied that forces from russia were even in crimea. >> translator: they were local self-defense teams. let me make my question more specific. did we participate in training those teams? >> translator: no. we did not. >> at least for today, president obama seemed to get the last word. >> there is a strong belief that russia's action is violating international law. i know president putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but i don't think that's fooling anybody. >> there is a lot happening now. the breaking news on efforts to
build a so-called off ramp for vladimir putin and new details about putin's conversation with president obama. senior white house correspondent jim akosta joins me now with details about that call. jim, what do you know? >> reporter: first thing to point out before i detail that phone call, we're getting word that the president is at a local fund-raiser in the washington, d.c. and told people at the fund-raiser that we may be able to deescalate this crisis in his words. the u.s. may be able to deescalate the crisis in the coming days so interesting to hear the president using the words, perhaps a hopeful sign about the way the white house feels about what's happening in ukraine at this point. but getting to that phone call, yes, as we all know it took place on saturday. 90 minutes long and according to a senior administration official briefing reporters on that phone call earlier this evening, the president and vladimir putin spent much of that time during that phone call debating the facts on the ground with respect to what's happening on the ground in ukraine.
russian president basically saying that he's trying to defend the rights of ethnic russians in ukraine and the president spent the time saying, no, putin, you're wrong. that's not what's happening in ukraine. so interesting to see that just in that phone call there was sort of a tense dynamic going on, anderson. >> and the president also spoke with german chancellor angela merkel. do you know much about that conversation? >> reporter: they spoke for an hour, anderson. one thing that did come up during the phone call is according to a senior administration official the german chancellor is working on an off ramp to get putin out of the crisis and out of crimea or at least to get the russian forces back into their base in crimea and what that off ramp involves is bringing in international observers to basically look after the interest of ethnic russians, a key putin concern. by the way, administration officials say that concern is bogus at this point. ethnic russians aren't being threatened in ukraine and
willing to put in observers and merkel is almost acting like a intermediary between the president and vladimir putin at this point according to the senior administration official. >> i also understand the white house -- there was a white house official disputed the notion that vladimir putin was somehow unhinged. how would they describe putin, his state of mind? >> reporter: well, at this point, anderson, they really think that he is acting in his own self-interest and they say that this is a consistent pattern of behavior. we'll call it angela merckel said and quoted in "the new york times" saying putin is in another world and what the white house saying with the senior administration official is saying that, no, they believe that putin is really threatened by these forces that are sort of unraveling in ukraine, that any popular uprising against the government, that's aligned with him, he deems a threat. and if you go back to what happened in georgia, they feel like that this is just a consistent, you know, another,
you know, basically example of putin acting in the same consistent manner, that he is going to act out against people in his sphere of influence that he feels are really threatening his interest, anderson. >> jim, i appreciate the update on both those phone conversations. we'll take a closer look at vladimir putin and what the strategy may be. sit, as jim was saying, it's very easy to label somebody crazy or out of touch. but how much of vladimir putin's actions make sense from his perspective, not to say they're appropriate in any way but what about them from his perspective may make sense. we'll talk about that later on in the program. i want to check in with our ben wedeman on the ground in crimea and also with me throughout the hour tonight, former long-time cnn correspondent jill dougherty. we're very pleased she's with us. currently she is at harvard kennedy school of government. let's start with you. what's the latest in crimea and
what have you seen throughout the day, ben? >> reporter: well, really, all eyes are on the base right outside of town and we saw a confrontation between this large grournlgs as -- group as many as 300 ukrainian soldiers, unarmed, who faced off with these men in green but who clearly looked like professional soldiers. and that incident which fortunately passed without any casualties, without any actual violence, really underscores, anderson, how close this place can come to a transformation from a peaceful standoff and now at the moment to something much worse. and scenes like that haven't happened at other -- the other nine locations where russian forces are surrounding or in some cases are inside ukrainian
bases but the potential for violence as we saw today is clearly there. >> ben, ukrainian officials have said that ukrainian troops on the ground in crimea have been very careful not to provoke some sort of a confrontation so that event we saw today at that base, how did that come about? why were those forces moving toward the -- what are clearly russian troops and how did it finally resolve? >> reporter: well, our understanding is that this was an initiative by the commander on the base who as a result of this confrontation has become something of an online celebrity. he clearly wanted to reassert his authority on the base and what we have seen really is the ukrainian forces in the crimea have been very passive in all of this. i think they do feel that
they're outnumbered and outgunned by the opposite side and they've been staying fairly quiet but i think their patience may be running out because their attitude is these are their military bases. many of them have families living on those bases with them and they clearly saw that it's time to push back against these forces that were deployed throughout the crimea since last friday. anderson? >> jill, other than that one military confrontation which thankfully did not end in any bloodshed in crimea, we have seen sort of a cooling off perhaps on the military front but a ratcheting up on the diplomatic front. >> right. i think if you look at the economic side of it, that's really important because you have secretary kerry coming in today, a billion dollars on the line in loan guarantees that the
u.s. could offer, will offer. and then, on the other side, you have signals from russia on the one hand they might cooperate with some type of imf long-term financing to help ukraine. but also indicating that they will probably stop the subsidies on natural gas. >> which is huge here because -- >> it's huge. >> ukraine gets subsidized prices on natural gas and reliant on natural gas from russia. >> correct. look at the budget. they owe $35 billion by the end of the year. so on top of everything, that's what's hanging over their heads so the economic situation is crucial and you can see putin now maneuvering saying we'll help but also putting pressure on the other side. >> it is fascinating. ben, jill, stick around. we'll talk to jill a lot throughout this hour. let us know what you think of the ongoing crisis here. you can follow me on twitter. i do get tweets even here. next, vladimir putin and his relationship with the truth.
is he as former secretary of state albright says delusional or is there a method, a strategy behind what he's doing in crimea? we'll look at all sides. we'll be right back. capital to make it happen? without the thinking that makes it real? what's a vision without the expertise to execute it... and the financing to make it grow? whatever your goal, it can change more than your business. it can change the future. that's why, at barclays, our ambition is to always realize yours.
fascinating press conference as we talked about by vladimir putin today. his claims including the claim that there are no russian troops in crimea. he says it's all local militia self-defense forces versus the facts just about everybody reported on the ground. for days now questions about whether putin is himself getting all the facts. angela merkel, the german chancellor, her impression after talking to him on the phone after the weekend, she tells president obama he is in another world. after his performance today, more evidence. jim sciutto tonight puts together a number of dubious statements from the russian president. keeping them honest. let's take a look. >> reporter: after days of staying mum, russian president vladimir putin finally broke his silence. trouble is, u.s. officials say very little of what he said is true. here's putin on the russian troops now patrolling ukraine. he says they aren't his.
>> translator: look at other uniforms of other post soviet. you can see such uniforms in the shop. they were self defense teams. they were prepared well. but look at how well the people in kiev were prepared. >> reporter: here's putin on the protesters that brought down the pro russian government in ukraine. >> translator: we have neohassa -- in parts of the ukraine. >> reporter: putin wasn't kind to the u.s. either. >> translator: i have a feeling in america, some people sit in some lab doing experiments like on rats without knowing the consequences. why do they need to do this? nobody has an explanation. >> reporter: so are putin's claims method or madness? german chancellor angela merkel is one of the few world leaders putin has spoken with recently. according to "the new york times" she described him to obama as being in another world, a sentiment shared by some russian observers saying the president surrounded himself with yes men in the kremlin. others say putin is very much in command of his senses and in
fact has a plan for a world order he sees as a real threat to russia's interests. >> whether it's libya or syria or iran or ukraine, he sees western actions as uniquely attempting to undermine russian power. >> reporter: putin may already have achieved his goal in ukraine. establishing and emphasizing russia's control over its bases and navy port in crimea. the danger is that the volatile mix of propaganda, emotions and armed soldiers unleashed there could easily spiral out of control. jim sciutto, cnn, washington. >> well, back now with former long-time cnn moscow correspondent, jill dougherty. she is currently at harvard's kennedy school of government and pleased she joins us tonight and also with us, former national security adviser are the george w. bush administration, steven hadley.
jill, i read an interesting article in "the atlantic." he was pointing out that from vladimir putin's perspective and wasn't -- peter wasn't apologizing for putin's actions in crimea but saying from his perspective this may make sense, from his perspective he actually sees a west which is increasingly encroaching on formerly russian territory. >> absolutely. from his perspective, you have nato moving steadily east. poland, czech republic, et cetera. you have the baltic countries becoming part of nato. and then moving, you know, talking about georgia eventually becoming part. perhaps ukraine. et cetera. so as he looks at the border he thinks this is a threat and you could interpret what's happening here as an effort -- i should say in crimea as an effort for -- by vladimir putin to
damage, let's say, ukraine, to make it impossible for them to easily blend in to nato. so that he doesn't have to really obviously take over ukraine. he's not going to. but if he is able to control crimea which is what they want, where their base is, that would be enough. >> steven, do you think from vladimir putin's perspective, again, this is not trying to justify at all what he's doing in crimea but do you think it makes sense from vladimir putin's perspective as opposed to him being delusional as some others have said? >> i watched the press conference. i was in when i was national security adviser in meetings with putin, with both president bush and on my own, and he's the same guy. i mean, he was very well prepared. he's very on message. he was controlled. he was making his case. so, this is really the same guy. but what we have found with putin is that he gets a lot of his information from his
intelligence services. they have a very nationalistic view, very anti-western view. they're anti-u.s. view and we were sometimes astonished by what he would put forward as facts about the united states or about u.s. activities that had no basis in reality. i think when angela merkel says he's in another world, it's that. it's not that he's taken leave of his senses but he's playing with a set of facts that are partly unfounded and partly very self-serving. and i think that's what you're seeing here. he's made a move and he's going to stand by it and justify it publicly even if he has to bend the facts a bit. >> it's fascinating to hear what you witness in meetings. do you have any specific example? i mean, it would be interesting to hear of things he thought about the u.s. or say which you just didn't feel were based in fact and were the result of
misinformation by the people giving him information. >> well, the most amusing was a private meeting he had with president bush year and probably 2005, 2006. it was right after cbs fired dan rather and he said -- president bush talked to him about press freedom. he says, well, you don't have press freedom. dan rather made you mad and you fired him. president bush said, vladimir, please don't go in front of the press corps and use that example. people will think you didn't know how america works. i didn't fire dan rather. he works for cbs news. notwithstanding, president putin then went out to the press conference and said, you know, i -- my press is as free as yours. you fired dan rather. he's just -- he's got a set of facts and a set of grievances that he feels very deeply about that just don't reflect the reality of how things work here.
>> it's interesting, jill. i mean, i didn't realize that back after the fall of the soviet union, back when the berlin wall fell, that jim baker, secretary of state at the time, actually met with gorbachev promising him there would not be nato forces in east germany. i just learned that earlier today which is really fascinating when you think of how far nato forces have moved beyond, obviously, east germany. >> right. putin has referred to that. putin feels -- >> referred to what the promise of gorbachev? >> what happened then, what was it back in '90 and i think putin feels he stuck his neck out for george bush after 9/11, that he offered, you know, roots for the influx of materials into afghanistan. and he would -- he thinks he got very little in return. in fact, i think he got -- he thinks he got a kick in the teeth. so, he's -- when mr. hadley talks about grievances, he's correct.
>> interesting. jill, stick around. steven hadley, we appreciate your perspective. more inside reporting of how the white house is trying to get in vladimir putin's head. stick around. a lot more ahead on the crisis in ukraine. hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the crisis here in ukraine on "ac 360." we are live from kiev right outside independence square. later on the program i'll take you on a tour. it's bustling with life as people come to pay respects and the protesters that fought more than a week and a half ago remain. peter bernstein talking to his sources about what they think vladamir putin is thinking, what his intentions are, he joins us now. and fareed zakaria also joins us. fareed, what do you make of the late news from jim acosta at the white house reporting president obama at a function in washington, d.c. also talked about deescalating the crisis and german chancellor angela merkel working to try to figure out a way off, a kind of a ramp off for vladimir putin? >> well, if you think about it, anderson, you touched on some of this earlier.
the way the russians have handled this is brutish and thuggish, men in ski masks coming in taking over an area using military force, you know, and obviously, that is totally unacceptable. has to be deterred but there is a political crisis in crimea and in ukraine that requires some kind of solution where russia is going to be involved. the place you're at, you know, in kiev, you had an elected president who was deposed by, you know, a kind of mass movement against him. now, it has to be figured out how that country moves forward since it's still living in the shadow of russia. crimea has a 60% russian population. historically part of russia. was gifted to ukraine in 1954. the home of the russian black sea fleet. how are those things going to be resolved? there's no way to keep russia out of it so what i think
president obama is trying to figure, that's one piece and the way in which russia handled this, militarily and stealth and in violation of international law, which has to be condemned and opposed. but then when you get to the question how do you politically resolve this in a lasting fashion, russia is going to have to be involved. >> fareed, you make a really important point and just to elaborate on it for a second because if you look at it, no matter what, the united states, european union promises, right now more than a billion dollars in loan guarantees, the geography guarantees ukraine has to deal with russia. it's where they get their gas from, where the exports go. that's something that's unavoidable. >> it goes even deeper than that. i mean, you know, we think about russia and how the soviet union has crumbled and these countries going free and put ukraine in that category. ukraine was not just part of the soviet union, a 75-year period. ukraine is part of the russian
empire for 300 years. crimea has been part of the russian empire for 200 years. and as you say, the gas lines crisscross through ukraine. all ukraine's industry is in -- to put it crudely, the pro-russian eastern half of ukraine. so were there to be trouble, secessionist movements, ukraine would not be viable as a state without risha's encouragement. and finally, anderson, we don't want to rush ukraine entirely out of russian control and make it have to live in a hostile relationship with its neighbor. we want russia vested in ukraine's success and by the way. and by the way, there's a $15 billion tab that someone is going to have to pay, and it might as well be all parties involved here. >> and carl, i know you have been working your sources. you have information tonight. your sources are telling you
vladimir putin isn't done, no way ready to pack up and go home. not going to happen. >> i spoke to one of the highest officials in the obama administration today. he's been involved in foreign policy throughout the administration. and the view of the white house is that putin is in this for playing a long game and trying to destabilize ukraine, the first step is this military incursion. call it what we will. but it's very much in his interest. he's pursuing a russian empire. he's made that clear. an empire to compete with the west and ukraine is essential to that vision. however much people in the west might think the vision is delusional. and he is playing very hard. he's got economic levers. he's looking at leverage. he's going to pull back now. there can be a military off ramp. somebody like former premier schrader, foreign minister schrader of germany might go there to talk to him about getting the military out, but we're going to see a long
program of destabilization to keep ukraine from moving too far west and he's determined to do it and at the same time it's clear the ukrainians most of them want to move west and there's a long way to go with this and he's got a lot of instruments in his power and he's threatened also to keep the military pressure on if need be. >> and carl, is it clear what the white house's next move is? >> i think, yes. that what you're hearing now about the off ramp to get some military disengagement, as much calm as possible. but there are no allusions in the white house that putin is going to somehow fold up his tent and take all the non-military tools in his tent and put them aside. he is going to fight this thing to the last because, look. he can't have a russian empire without ukraine. he can't have it with just
armenia and uzbekistan or something like that. as fareed says, ukraine is essential. kiev, the gates of kiev, historically essential to the russian vision of its own people and he is nothing else, you know, a russian believer in its destiny, its history, and he is there to restore it after the fall of the soviet empire which he's called the great tragedy of the 20th century and he's not walking away from this and, yeah. he's clever like a fox as somebody in the white house put it to me. is he out of touch with reality? yes, they say, in the sense that he keeps surrounding himself with yes men in the kgb, former kgb officers who give him bad intelligence, who tell him that there are conspiracies in the west but he also knows how to stir up trouble and go after what he wants. >> and the trouble continues. we're watching it closely. carl, appreciate you being on tonight. fareed, as well.
coming up tonight, inside independence square. a day in the life of the square, if you will. the site of so much violence, and now a shrine to those who lost their lives. we'll be right back. marge: you know, there's a more enjoyable way to get your fiber. try phillips fiber good gummies. they're delicious, and a good source of fiber to help support regularity. wife: mmmm husband: these are good! marge: the tasty side of fiber. from phillips.
today. it was his first stop here before meeting with any of the political leaders in ukraine. he came here to pay his respects. it gives you a sense of how important this spot is in the minds and the hearts of ukrainian people in kiev. there are flowers, flags that mark the spot, roof top snipers killed demonstrators. this is still very much an active site where protesters are living or camped out. here's what it looks like during the day. kiev's independence square, site of so much fighting, is now a shrine to the dead. and a symbol to the living. hundreds of protesters still stay here, vowing they'll not leave until they see the change they so recently fought for. ♪ they sing and sleep in tents, trying to stay warm against the cold winter air. there's wood for fire.
hot soup cooked in calderons, food is given out for free. vladimir putin obviously is not popular here. no one believes the claims he's making about his actions in crimea. when russia says that russian-speaking people in crimea are under attack, under threat, you say -- >> it is not true. it is not true over ukraine. it's unfair so it's -- >> do you worry? do you worry about what's happening? >> yeah, of course. they're trying to divide ukraine to like east and west. >> the new government in kiev called up military reservists, even those not of military age will tell you they're ready to fight. >> he said my friend said i'm ready to give a bribe for military commission, just take me to army. just -- i want to fight for my country. 55 years. >> you want to fight?
behind the bravado, the bravery and pride, there's also so much sadness. the photos of those that died in this square, a silent sober reminder of the blood that's been spilled. young and old. fathers and sons. these are the faces of the dead. the living come here to remember. to say prayers, light candles, lay flowers. they walk the streets where blood was shed. you can still find the remnants of the fight that took place here everywhere in the square. this is a stretcher used to carry the wounded or the dead and over here makeshift weapons, mostly defense. these are shields that were used against snipers. this is made out of wood. certainly wouldn't stop a bullet. hand made handles. someone's placed flowers here as a sort of a memorial. and you see this a lot, too, as well. these are cobblestones dug up from the street which were hurled by protesters against police. everything has been left as it was.
it's all still here, still ready to be used once again. the square is still fortified with barricades, layers of them. there's three layers here of tires that have been laid out. there's also these to try to stop vehicles from coming down. here are the more cobblestones that were used as weapons and you still find weapons all around. they're saving everything. these are bottles, beer bottles used for molotov cocktails with wired tied around the top to make it easier to throw them. they would be filled with gasoline. you see a gasoline canister over here. just boxes of cases of beer bottles over here. and this is one of the most impressive barricades. just made with every object they could find, tires, metal, fencing, sheet rock. anything they could find they just piled up beneath this bridge to try to stop riot police from coming down and entering the square. for now, the fighting in kiev is over. all eyes are on crimea.
in independence square, however, protesters insist they'll keep up their defenses in case the new government fails them as they say the old one just did. all the talk tonight of deescalation and an off ramp for vladimir putin, the's no way to predict what comes next over the next 12 and 24 hours. jill dougherty joins us once again. she's a senior fellow at harvard university's kennedy school of government. she joins us here and will be for the next several days. we're focusing because we're here in kiev on the people here in kiev but the perspective is very different in other parts of the ukraine, in the east in crimea. >> it is. and i think, you know, for them, they are frightened whether that's justified or not. they are. >> you're talking about russian-speaking -- russian oriented -- >> yes. in crimea or in certain eastern
parts of ukraine. and whether that's justified or not, that's what many of them feel. >> it is true that the new government that took power here after the old president fled, one of the first things they did is talking about basically lowering the importance of the russian language, which strikes at the heart -- forbidding it, which strikes at the hearts of the eastern europeans. >> they did backtrack on that and the government trying to take some steps and that's what this whole thing that secretary kerry was talking about. maybe the off ramp will be encouraging this new government to do the things that will make the people in crimea, the russian speakers feel that they will be protected because that's very, very important. you know, anderson, really, we're still paying the price for so many things that happened in world war ii that were never really resolved. this country's had problems way before, you know, for decades, really. and we're still paying the
price. >> i was thinking about world war ii today as you walk through the square. it feels like with the makeshift barricades that you're going back in time. i mean -- >> absolutely. >> we'll continue to cover it on cnn. i'll be back on "360" tomorrow. more from kiev. next, more pot shots at president obama from a republican. senator graham tying the crisis to benghazi. show you how he did that. also, leading republican defends the president. senator rubio joins us next. we'll be right back. keeping up with these two is more than a full time job and i don't have time for unreliable companies. angie's list definitely saves me time and money. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today. bob will retire when he's 153, which would be fine if bob were a vampire.
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...and a choice take 6 tylenol in a day which is 2 aleve for... ...all day relief. hmm. [bell ring] "roll sound!" "action!" well, u.s. lawmakers from both parties are working to try to draft sanctions on russia at the same time, though, some republicans have been voicing some deep criticisms of the obama administration's handling of relations with russia. using the ukrainian crisis to attack president obama's foreign policy in general. here's what republican graham tweeted earlier today. it started with benghazi, when you kill americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this
type of aggression. senator john mccain said similar things of the obama white house. calling their policy feckless. senator chris murphy on the foreign relations committee hit back today at them. listen. >> i've listened to some of my good friends on the republican side try to score political points in connection with the russian move on crimea. trying to paint this somehow as obama's fault. this is a ridiculous contention. putin marched into georgia in 2008 under a republican president and many considered to be strong on foreign policy and now he's doing it with a democrat in office. >> earlier i spoke with republican senator marco rubio of florida. senator rubio, you outlined eight items which you said the u.s. must do and should do immediately, economic issues, diplomatic issues against russia. it seems like the obama administration out of those eight have already embarked on a number of them. what more do you want the united states to be doing? >> well, first of all, let me
recognize that they have and i've been pleased with the reaction to this. i think that key to all of this, of course, two things. first is allowing or helping the government in kiev to become stable. we want to keep this from getting worse and that includes allowing it to spread into the eastern parts of ukraine and transitioning to the normalcy they seek. the part of it is what the president described as isolating russia. there's got to be a consequence for this action. this is not be the new international norm that you can move troops in to a neighboring country when you don't like the way things turn out and in order to successfully be able to do that, we must use the influence of the united states to rally our partners in europe and around the world to take concrete steps that continue to isolate russia economically. there must be a price to pay for what they have done. >> you're supportive of basically everything that the obama administration has done thus far? >> yes. i think it was important that secretary kerry go there today.
i saw his press conference early on cnn. listened to it on the radio actually on sirius xm and found it to be encouraging in terms of his language. i thought the president was right when he said it was a major misstep for the russians who i think will pay a tremendous price in the perception of russia and putin throughout europe. i think we have to keep that momentum going and my hope is that the takeaway from this is there's no further allusions of who exactly we're dealing with. i mean, vladimir putin in the press conference earlier today or i guess last night our time blatantly lied and making the claims. you are there in kiev and he's making the claims that troops on the ground in crimea are native self-defense forces but we know that not to be the case so i think it's important to recognize we are dealing with an individual that lies on a regular and consistent basis. >> many of your fellow republicans have been very critical of the obama administration in their relations with russia. do you think john mccain, for instance called the obama leadership feckless on the issues.
others have been even harsher. is that kind of rhetoric, are those kind of criticisms fair given the fact under president bush, vladamir putin had the military action in georgia, many of the policies president bush tried to institute against vladimir putin didn't seem to have the kind of response the u.s. would have liked? >> well, i think mistakes were made in the bush administration, as well. i have certainly been a critic of the obama foreign policy in general. i continue to be. i also think in a moment of international crisis, especially one of importance such as this one, it is critical. we're a free society. we will have this debate for years to come. we have had it in the past. there's plenty of time to critical of the mistakes that have been made by this administration and previous ones. i do think now given the urgency of the moment it is important that we try to find a way to unify behind whatever policy the
united states pursues because i think it gives us more strength and influence in the world. sometimes what we underestimate is because we're a free and open society, the debates are open for the world to see and sometimes our opponents and our enemies see that debate as a sign of weakness so it's important at moments like this we avoid the harsh rhetoric that perhaps could be counterproductive and by no means implicates some point in the future we shouldn't get back to having a serious, honest and vibrant debate about the mistakes made by this administration. >> senator marco rubio, good to have you on the program. thank you. >> thank you, anderson. as you can see the entire interview with senator rubio. we spoke longer than that. it's at ago360.com. i hope you check that out online. we'll be right back. there's a saying around here, you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses.
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that's it for us live from kiev. thank you very much for watching. erin burnett starts now. putin tests an intercontinental ballistic missile. new details with the president's intense phone call with vladamir putin. we have a live report from the white house and crimea with the breaking news ahead. plus, president obama takes on the 1% again. but is wall street too much for the president to handle? and a tn